Efforts to overhaul Pershing Square, a five-acre urban park spanning a full city block in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, got a major boost Wednesday when a San Francisco real estate developer and the city together pledged $2 million to its revitalization.
MacFarlane Partners, which owns a 2.3-acre development site across the street from Pershing Square, pledged $1 million to fund a nonprofit organization dedicated to driving the park’s renewal. The nonprofit, Pershing Square Renew Inc., will also receive $1 million from the city’s parks and recreation department to use for immediate infrastructure improvements.
The creation of the nonprofit, to be headed by MacFarlane’s development consultant Eduardo Santana, came about as a result of efforts Councilman Jose Huizar made in the last year to unite downtown stakeholders in a mission to re-envision the nearly 150-year-old park.
Jeff Berris, managing director of development for MacFarlane Partners, said it was in the company’s interest to have a more vibrant park to serve as a front-yard to its development. The company plans to build two buildings, one low-rise and the other a high-rise on the site with a combined 600 residential units and 17,000 square feet of retail.
“The timing for Pershing Square’s redesign is perfect for downtown and for our project,” he said in a statement. “It has the potential to become a world-class public space.”